The feet are responsible for a chain reaction throughout your body, according to Chanel J. Perkins dual certified podiatrist, DPM. “The foot is known as a portable adapter. It simply means that the foot makes the necessary adjustments to absorb the vibrations and adapt to the ground,” he says.
To maintain your balance as you move forward, the foot moves in two basic ways: supine (when the weight moves to the outer leg) and pronation (where the weight moves to the inside of the foot). Both designs are key to foot mobility and range of motion. “Our lives are made easier by the mobility of our feet because it literally gives us freedom of movement, making the act of walking biomechanically possible,” explains Dr. Perkins. “We face a lot of challenges if there is too little or too much mobility in the leg, so there has to be a balance.”
To keep your feet in top shape, Dr. Perkins recommends leg mobility exercises in your workout. minimum a couple of days a week. However, if you feel pain in your legs as we talk, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist. You may need a pair of orthotics instead of a simple mobility routine.
With these words, we are ready to mobilize our feet. (Then on to new adventures.)
7 leg mobility exercises to add to your regular rotation
1. Roll of tennis ball
Grab a tennis ball and sit in a chair or on the side of your bed. Place your bare foot on top of the ball and slowly roll your foot over it. You can use your body weight to increase the pressure (as needed). “It would be a good idea to keep the ball by the bed so you can do this massage in the morning before you get out of bed and at night before you go to bed,” says Dr. Perkins.
2. Tower curls
Place a small towel on the floor and wrap it towards you using only your toes. If this seems easy to you, you can increase the resistance by putting a weight (like a heavy book) on the edge of the towel. “The movement should be like lifting the towel almost with your toes,” says Dr. Perkins. “Relax and repeat this exercise five times.”
3. Marble pick up
Here’s a fun: Place 20 marbles on the floor and collect them — one at a time — using only your toes and place each in a small bowl. Do this exercise until you have collected all 20 marbles.
4. Heel lift
Stand on your toes and hold this position for five seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Calf stretch on the wall
Place your palms on a wall, with one foot in front and one behind. Bend the front leg slightly, keeping the back leg completely straight. Keep leaning against the wall until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf. Stay for 30 to 45 seconds and then change legs.
6. Negative calf increases
Stand on a step with your heels from the edge, parallel to the floor below. Lift one foot off the ladder and slowly lower the other heel down the ladder. Try to take at least 10 seconds to download it all the way down. Repeat twice with each foot.
7. Exercise ankle range of motion
Start standing. Pull your foot up as if trying to bring your toes to your tibia. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat three times with each leg. You can also use a resistance band or towel wrapped around the ball of the foot and pull it with your hands while pushing your foot down, turning your toes towards the floor.
Continue stretching with Nike coach Traci Copeland:
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